March 2014
Caltech Associates Newsletter

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Caltech Associates


Introducing Catherine Reeves as Executive Director for the Caltech Associates

We are excited to announce the recent arrival of Catherine Reeves, executive director of the Caltech Associates. On February 24, the Caltech Associates team and board of directors welcomed Catherine as she assumed her new role. More...

“How Microbes Rule the World” Program & Reception Highlight

The Caltech Associates invited seven interdisciplinary Caltech faculty from the Center for Environmental Microbial Interactions (CEMI) to discuss their cutting-edge research addressing issues in health, energy, and the environment. Read more...

Caltech Associates Website Updates!

New updates have been added to the Caltech Associates website to highlight the three main regional chapters and the wonderful work executed by our committees in Southern California, Northern California, and on the East Coast. Take a look at the new “Chapters” webpage, which provides information and upcoming events for each chapter. We hope you will find this information useful and informative, and we look forward to further developing these pages in collaboration with the committees. Please feel free to provide your comments and feedback by emailing


BICEP2’s Epic Discovery of Primordial Gravitational Waves & Cosmic Inflation!

Read a behind-the-scenes article of Caltech’s involvement in what is slated to be one of, “the greatest discoveries in the history of science.” On Monday, March 17, 2014, collaborators working with the BICEP2 telescope at the South Pole presented the world with its first direct evidence of primordial gravitational waves and thus of cosmic inflation. Caltech professor of physics Jamie Bock, co–principal investigator for BICEP2 and the chief architect of the telescope's detectors, described the finding as "mind-boggling." More...

Read an interview with Dr. Jamie Bock.

Caltech: Secrets of the World’s Number One University

For the past three years, Caltech has been rated number one in the rankings of the world’s universities published by the UK’s Times Higher Education. The Times’ cover story features an in-depth look at the Institute, asking the question, “How does a tiny institution create such outsized impact?” Read this exciting, in-depth cover story of the magazine's latest issue...

Theoretical Physicist Wins Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching

Steven C. Frautschi, professor of theoretical physics, emeritus, at Caltech, has been awarded the Richard P. Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching—Caltech's most prestigious teaching honor. More...

Caltech Names Six Distinguished Alumni

Caltech has recognized six of its graduates with the Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor the Institute bestows upon its alumni. This year's recipients highlight the breadth of fields in which Caltech graduates have gone on to become leaders—ranging from cosmology to higher education, and from aerospace to biomedicine.

Raiders of the Lost Can

There is more than one way to get an empty soup can to the top of a five-foot pyramid. One option might be to pick up the soup can with your hand, walk to the pyramid, and place it on top. But that would be the easy way out, and that's not how Caltech's mechanical engineering majors roll. Read more about the Caltech Mechanical Engineering Competition, now in its 29th year.


Battling Infection With Microbes

Caltech researchers have identified that a relationship between gut bacteria and blood cell development helps the immune system fight infection. More...

A New Laser for a Faster Internet

A new laser developed by a research group at Caltech holds the potential to increase by orders of magnitude the rate of data transmission in the optical-fiber network—the backbone of the Internet. More...


Alumni Reunion Weekend & Seminar Day

The Caltech Alumni Association will host their annual Reunion Weekend from May 15 – 18. Activities will take place throughout the weekend, including Seminar Day on Saturday, March 17. Seminar Day features a wonderful line-up of faculty and student speakers providing an exclusive front row seat to the new and exciting discoveries taking place on campus. Get more information about the events and speakers, and register online.

Beckman Auditorium Performances

Joshua Kane Performs Shakespeare’s Murderers, Madmen and Kings! Friday, April 11, 2014 at 8 p.m. Capitol Steps will perform on Friday & Saturday, May 2 & 3, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. For more details, visit Caltech Campus Programs.

Science Saturdays Program

Join Caltech for a special movie screening, recommended for children 8 and up, of “Space Race Supermen: The Heroes of Early Human Spaceflight,” followed by a discussion led by a graduate student in Geological and Planetary Science on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 2:00 PM.

Caltech presents REEL SCIENCE

Join Caltech for this special program (recommended for grades 3-12), How to Create Superheroes? The program features a special screening of, “Cracking the Genetic Code” about genetic mutation, followed by a discussion led by a graduate student in Biochemistry on Friday, May 9, 2014 at 10 a.m.

Watson Lectures

Join us for the following Watson Lectures, presented by Caltech faculty. (As a Caltech Associate, you receive two VIP seating tickets; President’s Circle Associates receive four VIP seating tickets.)

APRIL 2, 2014

Sarkis Mazmanian, Professor of Biology, “Say Hello to Your Little Friends: How Gut Bacteria Can Be Harnessed as Novel Therapies for Disease.”

MAY 7, 2014

Sarah E. Reisman, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, “From Nature to the Pharmacy: The Chemistry Behind Modern Medicines.”

All lectures are held on Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. in Beckman Auditorium, Caltech Campus.

APRIL 24, 2014
Price Bubbles in the Brain - Associates Spring Program & Dinner
Featuring Dr. Colin Camerer, Robert Kirby Professor of Behavioral Economics
The Athenaeum

APRIL 29, 2014
Mars 2020 Mission - East Coast Spring Program and Dinner
Featuring Dr. Kenneth Farley, W.M. Keck Foundation Professor of Geochemistry; Division Chair, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
The Lotus Club, New York, NY

MAY 4-10, 2014
Caltech Associates Travel Program: CERN

MAY 7, 2014
Northern California Live Watson Lecture Streaming
Featuring Dr. Sarah Reisman, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Wilson, Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

For more information on Caltech Associates and Campus Programs events, visit our calendar online at:


We kicked off the new year with a fun-filled and educationally packed family event and welcomed our newest members at the welcome reception. Check out some some photos from these past events here:

Caltech Associates on LinkedIn

LinkedIn Group Account Now at 75 Members
The Associates member’s only LinkedIn group account has now reached 75 members! Help us grow the group and sign up to connect with other members and stay up-to-date on the latest Caltech news, research, and events. Join here:

New Members

Join us in welcoming our newest members

Mrs. Margaret Leong Checca and Mr. Michael P. Checca
Ms. Sheila C. Rankin and Col. Victor K. Huang
Mrs. Virginia C. Lechler
Mr. Tony Morillo
Mrs. Elizabeth N. Sargent and Mr. John R. Swain
Dr. Lee Scott Theisen
Dr. and Ms. Keith Valone
Ms. Nancy Voorhees
Mrs. Tiffany Y. Xu
Mr. and Ms. Jonathan R. Yundt

In Memoriam

We extend our sincere condolences to the families of the Caltech Associates we have lost in the past year.

Mrs. Roberta F. Chapin
Mr. E. Eric Johnson
Mrs. Helen P. Keeley
Mr. Robert Henigson
Mr. Thomas V. Jones
Mr. Andrew J. Kampe
Mr. Paul C. Siechert
Mr. Don Cunningham Smith
Mrs. Rose Marie F. Nesbit
Mr. Fred Kavli
Mr. Newell T. Partch

Associates Board 2013-2014

Executive Committee
Ananth Natarajan, President
Lynda Fetter, President Elect
Tracy Fu, Vice President
Peter Clark, Vice President
Priscilla McClure, Past President

Board Members
Jane Arnault-Factor
Paul Attyah
Caroline Blauvelt
Edward M. Boughton
Ginger Caldwell
Jane Caughey
C. Joseph Chang
Marina Chen
Peter O. Clark
Lynda B. Fetter
Tracy Fu
Bernadette Glenn
Armando Gonzalez
Alan Greenstadt
Cindy Hambleton
Joyce Hameetman
Barbara Hanna
Dylan H. Hixon
Michael Mann
Clara Miller
Susan Murakami
Ananth Natarajan
Janice Ohta
Karen Roberts
Samantha Seaward
Michael R. Spindler
Pamela Wiedenbeck
Joseph Yang

Presidents Emeriti
Fred A. Blum
Hannah Bradley
John D. Gee
John H. Glanville
Cathleen A. Godzik
Robert Henigson
Collis H. Holladay, Jr.
Millard W. Jacobs
Robert T. Jenkins
Carl V. Larson
Ilene O. Marshall
Priscilla McClure
Carel Otte
Margaret Richards
Elizabeth Loucks Samson
Warren G. Schlinger
Tom Tisch
Elizabeth Tito
Thomas J. Tyson
Kathleen M. Wiltsey
Donald F. Wright

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Professional Team
Catherine Reeves Executive Director
Paula Elliott Associate Director
Jerri Price-Gaines Associate Director
Nicola Wilkins-Miller Assistant Director
Lelia Marshall Membership Coordinator
Ruby Rico Administrative Assistant


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